Collections

Piece of the Week: John Hardy’s Reimagined Dragon

CollectionsFeb 09, 2024

Piece of the Week: John Hardy’s Reimagined Dragon

Creative Chairman Reed Krakoff has modernized one of the brand’s most well-known motifs ahead of the Year of the Dragon.

John Hardy Naga Dragon necklace
Revelers worldwide will celebrate the Lunar New Year on Saturday, ushering in the Year of the Dragon.

Jewelry brands and designers have been rolling out their interpretations of the mythical creature since the start of the calendar year, rendering dragons in gold and silver, and setting them with diamonds and colored gemstones.   

For John Hardy and its creative chairman, Reed Krakoff, archival inspiration wasn’t hard to find. 

In 2007, the Bali-based brand debuted the first piece in what would become one of its most recognizable and best-selling collections, the “Naga Dragon.”

John Hardy original Naga bracelet
John Hardy made this bracelet in 2007, the first piece in what would become the “Naga Dragon” collection. A key feature was the engineering of the dragon’s mouth “biting” on the gold ring; the mouth functions as the bracelet’s clasp.

The mythical creature is sacred to the people of Bali, and symbolic of humans’ connection to nature. 

As the story goes, the Naga sits atop a volcano by day, guarding the people. At night, he dives into the ocean to visit his one true love, the Pearl. 

When he flies back to his volcano in the morning, the water dripping from his scales nourishes the fields. 

Krakoff’s reimagining of the dragon pays homage to some of the signature elements in the original design—the use of woven chain to mimic scales and, in some pieces, the dragon biting his own tail. 

But his take on Naga is sleeker and more modern without sacrificing on detail, making it tellingly Krakoff.   

The new Naga Dragon collection debuted in January. Pieces are available in sterling silver or 14-karat gold, like the wrap necklace featured as our Piece of the Week.   

Prices range from $495 to $14,000. 

 Related stories will be right here … 

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